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Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates…

Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates at the Church of Christ the Saviour on the commemoration day of St. Alexander Nevsky

On December 6, 2021, the commemoration day of the Holy and Right-Believing Grand Prince Alexander Nevsky, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral Church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. At the beginning of the divine service archpriest Mikhail Ryazantsev brought a shrine with a particle of relics of St. Alexander Nevsky to the sanctuary. Four large processions with the cross were held in Russia and Belarus with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in June-August 2021. The shrine was the main holy object during one of them – the so called historical procession with the cross, which made its way through places associated with the life of St. Alexander Nevsky and along the route of the transfer of his holy relics from Vladimir to St. Petersburg in 1724. Concelebrating with His Holiness were Metropolitans Juvenaly, Hilarion, Dionisy, Feognost, Amvrosy and Tikhon; two bishops; protopresbyter Vladimir Divakov; archimandrites Alexy (Turikov) and Philaret (Bulekov), archpriests Mikhail Ryazantsev and Leonid Kalinin; Rev. Dionisy Kazantsev, and many other clergymen from Moscow. Attending the service were the chairman and members of the Organizing Committee for Celebration of the 800th Birthday of St. Alexander Nevsky; chairmen of the two RF State Duma committees; and many other top state and public officials. Liturgical hymns were sung at the divine service by a combined choir made up of the finalists of the 1st Patriarchal International Festival of church music “The Light of Christ” conducted by Alexey A. Puzakov, deputy chairman of the Patriarchal Church-Society Council for developing Russian singing, and by Varvara A. Volkova, executive secretary of the same council. Two hundred and ten singers were divided into two choirs for antiphonal singing. The combined choir included eleven choirs from Minsk, Yaroslval, Belgorod, Vienna, Zleleznogorsk, Syzran, Moscow, Morshansk, Saratov, Samara, and the Ascension St. David Hermitage, Moscow region. The divine service was broadcast live on “Soyuz” and “Spas” TV channels and on Patriarchia.ru, the official portal of the Russian Orthodox Church. Offered at the Litany of Fervent Supplication were prayers for deliverance from the coronavirus infection and a petition for medical doctors, saying: “O Lord, Lover of men, look down on the sacrificial feat of our medical doctors, send upon them strong health, steadfast spirit and wisdom in their labours for the good of our people and recovery of Thy suffering servants; we humbly pray to Thee: hear us and have mercy upon us.” Following the Litany, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church said a special prayer recited at the time of pernicious pestilence. A sermon before the Holy Communion was delivered by Rev. Vladislav Mishin, acting rector of the church of the “Life-Giving Font” icon of the Mother of God in Bibirevo, Moscow. At the end of the Liturgy, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill brought out a shrine with the relics of the Holy and Right-Believing Prince Alexander Nevsky from the sanctuary, blessed the worshippers and put it on the lectern in the center of the church. Moleben to St. Alexander Nevsky was celebrated. After that, His Holiness addressed the worshipers with his primatial homily. Then an awarding ceremony took place. By the decree of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, chairman of the Patriarchal Council for Culture Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov and Porkhov was awarded the Order of the Holy and Right-Believing Prince Alexander Nevsky, 2nd class. Also, the Order was bestowed upon five well-known state and public officials for organizing the jubilee celebrations. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill awarded protopresbyter Vladimir Divakov with a memorial pectoral cross with decorations in consideration of his zealous work and in connection with his 30-year-long service in the Moscow Patriarchate. Handing over the award, His Holiness said: “You are fulfilling the duties of Secretary to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia with humility and at the same time with efficient responsibility. I remember you to spare no time and no effort when working for my predecessor of the blessed memory. I am thankful to you that after my coming into the office of the Patriarch you have continued your many-tasked daily service, effectively assisting me in many ways, but especially in running the administrative affairs of Moscow. “Moscow is a city of a great number of churches and monasteries with thousands of clergymen. It is impossible to remember them all and to know what kind of people they are, what they deserve – award or reprimand. Therefore, Patriarch needs to have clerics with a good knowledge of the church life in Moscow to help him in taking accurate decisions. You are the first among such clerics, as my Secretary playing an important part in the decision-making, and I wholeheartedly thank you for your faithfulness to the Church and to the Patriarch, for the selfless dedication of health and time, for total disregarding of circumstances that could be taken as an excuse for evading work responsibilities. I express my gratitude and award you with the Patriarchal cross in memory of today’s event and as a token of my appreciation of your service.” His Holiness Kirill also expressed his gratitude to the singers of the combined choir, saying: “I would like to thank the choristers who so wonderfully have been singing today. Our festival “The Light of Christ” has indeed proved to be an important spiritual and cultural event in the life of the Church and of the capital city of Moscow. My regret is only about the ongoing pandemic that has decreased the number of the worshippers attending church services. This is understandable: people are afraid of going down with the disease, though the danger of contaminating it in churches of all the places is the least possible firstly because of the presence of God’s grace in them, and secondly because special order and rules of behavior are observed to avoid close contact of people and to keep off the spread of the infection. Though the number of worshippers present today was limited, the choirs participating in the festival have sung beautiful church music. “Once again, I thank all the singers and invoke God’s blessing upon all of you. I congratulate you on today’s feast marking the red-letter date –the 800th birthday of the Holy and Right-Believing Grand Prince Alexander Nevsky, a great saint of God, an outstanding military commander and sovereign ruler of our homeland!” Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia/ DECR Communication Service
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